Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#84 Kurt Stillwell

About the Front: Bill Pecota alert! That's the identity of the baserunner sliding into second base and forcing Kurt Stillwell to go airborne to make the relay throw. The date is July 26, 1992, and it's the bottom of the fourth inning at Shea Stadium. Pecota hit a one-out single off of Bruce Hurst, but was wiped off the basepaths here as Charlie O'Brien hit into a double play. This preserved the San Diego lead at 1-0, which would be the final score as well. Hurst went the distance, winning a seven-hit shutout.

About the Back: I'm not saying that high school statistics aren't a great gauge of major league talent, but Kurt's .552 average in his senior year is greater than his two highest MLB single-season batting averages put together.

Triple Play:

1. His father was Ron Stillwell, a middle infielder who played a total of 14 games for the Washington Senators in 1961 and 1962.

2. How in the world was Stillwell an American League All-Star reserve in 1988? His first-half splits (.261/.337/.428, 7 HR, 36 RBI) are better than his full-season numbers, but unless offense was significantly weaker league-wide than it is today, I'm still scratching my head.

3. Kurt has been an agent for Scott Boras' corporation since 2000.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: That sure is a dopey face that Stillwell's making. I know that kids my age stuck out their tongue when playing sports to emulate Michael Jordan, but it doesn't really translate to baseball and journeyman infielders.

Bill James Said: "Not real fast, no power, makes regular visits to the disabled list." Don't sugar-coat it, Bill.

On This Date in 1993: October 8. The White Sox used a five-run second inning and a complete-game effort from Wilson Alvarez to take Game Three of the ALCS over the Blue Jays, 6-1. Toronto still held a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.


  1. Not sure if this can be verified or not, but I'm almost positive that 90% of Stillwell cards are of him turning double plays.

  2. Stillwell was always one of my favorite players. I was so mad when the Reds traded him, and for a while I followed the Royals.

    Four shortstops were selected for the '88 All-Star Game, and Stillwell wasn't the worst of the four. Ozzie Guillen's bat was worse, and he didn't have the reputation Kurt had on defense either. I believe it was probably defense that got Stillwell a spot on the bench for the All-Star squad that year.

    And I think Backstop Cards is correct, 90% of his cards are double plays. Ok, maybe not 90%, but he had quite a few flying in the air over a baserunner.

    JT, The Writer's Journey

  3. Backstop - I'm sure somebody has done the math.

    JT - Guillen really wasn't as good as his reputation would leave you to believe.